Occasionally I poke around on Craigslist, and have purchased a rug, a patio table, and several other great items there at a good price. But one thing I hate to see on Craigslist are animals.

A stray dog needing a home. This dog was found in the woods, and adopted by a friend of mine.  (This isn’t the dog in the ad.)

It’s troubling to see pets listed “free to a good home” on Craigslist. For one thing, some rotten people will snatch up such dogs to use for cruel purposes such as bait in dog fighting. They’ll pose as a nice family to get the dog.
Others sell the dogs to laboratories for testing.
Others “flip” the dog and sell it at a profit to whoever will pay.
Craigslist is too risky of a way to rehome your pet.

Most rescue groups scan Craigslist listings to save pets from these situations. Recently I saw a listing for a male golden retriever, 3 years old, not neutered and needing shots. I melted at the picture of a big, lovable goof and immediately wanted to rescue him, but knew it wasn’t possible to add another dog to our family at this time. I alerted our golden retriever rescue group, which is the group from which we adopted Brooks and Ike. They are the experts, and they know how to evaluate a dog physically and emotionally, and how to match dogs up with just the right home.

When I told our group about the dog on Criagslist, the response was:

“Oy veh!! And unaltered purebred Golden out in the middle of puppymill territory!! We would take him no matter what – even if he’s Cujo, he’s safer in our hands than in those of some miller!  If he’s not that bad but has “issues” then there are other Golden rescues with resources to work in-depth with some of the dogs.”

Phew. This dog would have the best possible chance at a future. I was so happy with this woman’s answer, knowing that this group is experienced and would get right to work to help the dog.

This isn’t the dog in the ad either. This is our Brooks before we adopted him, when he was in the shelter. Looking at this always breaks my heart. But also makes me feel happy that we rescued him.

 She went on to say that sometimes it’s a problem to get the owner to agree to turn the dog over– a lot of time the people who advertise on Craigslist don’t want anything to do with rescue. They may think that they’re in for a lot of red tape, or judgement. But other times they just aren’t aware of better ways to rehome their dog. I’m not going to judge everyone who gives up a pet with one broad stroke. But hopefully more people will turn to rescue groups when they need help. And thankfully these groups do an excellent job of doing what is in the best interest of the dog. Here’s hoping that this Golden is already in his forever home, being smothered with love and comfort as part of a happy new family.

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